Separation: The Emotional Journey

We all experience divorce and separation in our own way but we are all likely to go through the grief (loss) cycle. This has several stages and these are experienced at different times, not necessarily in order and certain stages can last longer than others. Because we are unique human beings, it is difficult to tell exactly what we will feel and when but it is reassuring to know it’s all normal and won’t last forever.

The stages of the loss cycle are:-

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

You could feel a sense of relief that your relationship has come to an end or feel a failure because you were powerless to stop it from ending.

You may have both decided that a separation, divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership is the right way forward, or one of you may feel more certainty about breaking up than the other.

If you have decided to leave the relationship, you may have been thinking about it for a long time, building up the courage to leave, perhaps resulting in feelings of guilt.

If you are the one who has been left, this might all have come as a shock and you may feel a sense of rejection or abandonment.

If the break-up is sudden and without warning, feelings could be more intense than if the relationship has broken down over a long period of time. Feelings are also likely to be more intense if you have been left than if you are the one who decided to leave.

The pain of a break-up can be deep and intense and be experienced physically as in “heartbreak”. Your emotions can also impede your ability to make decisions and make you feel tired and lacking in energy, although the extent of these feelings depends on the circumstances.

Talk to your mediator about how you are so that they can understand where you are in the grief cycle and try to go at your pace.

Mediation offers a place for parents to sit together and talk about their finances and parenting, including child support and to think through what will work best in any particular circumstance.

NFM is a network of professional family mediation providers based in England and Wales that work with families affected by relational breakdown. All providers aim to help clients achieve an outcome that works best for them and their family

If you would like to get more information about mediation and/or make an appointment you can contact NFM direct on 0300 4000 636 or you can also contact a NFM family mediation provider in your area.

All services also take referrals from Solicitors, the court or other helping / support agencies.

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